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Cornell University Library 
NK 1510.W25P9 

Progressive design for students, 

3 1924 020 576 306 



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Cornell University 
Library 



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PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 



PROGRESSIVE DESIGN 
FOR STUDENTS 



BY 



JAMES WARD 

AUTHOR OF "principle? OF ORNAMRNT," "HISTORIC ORNAMENT," FTC. 



WITH FORTY-TWO ILLUSTRATIONS 



LONDON; CHAPMAN AND HALL, Limitei> 

1902 



PROGRESSIVE DESIGN 
FOR STUDENTS 



BY 



JAMES WARD 

AUTHOR OF "principles OF ORNAMENT," "HISTORIC ORNAMENT," ETC. 



WITH FORTY-TWO ILLUSTRATIONS 



LONDON: CHAPMAN AND HALL, Limited 

1902 
ir 



PREFACE 

This Work on Ornamental Design, as its title indicates, 
consists of a series of " Progressive" Lessons in Ele- 
mentary and Applied Design, such as a Master might 
give to a class of pupils who are desirous to obtain a 
knowledge of the subject. The author has practised the 
method laid down in the book when oivintj instruction to 
classes in the elementary and advanced stages of design, 
and has found that the course of study therein recom- 
mended has produced some fairly satisfactory results. 

The illustrations and examples of design are all based 
on Nature, and have been conventionalised or treated to 
suit the requirements of the space or object to which the 
decoration is applied. 

It is to be hoped that the book will be useful to Masters 
of our Primary Schools when instructing large classes in 
rudimentary design, and to Students and Masters of Art 
Schools and Classes also, from the progressive nature of 
the studies illustrated and explained. As to the practice 



viii PREFACE 

and principles of ornament, it is hoped that any one, who 
is anxious for a knowledge of the subject, will find the 
book an aid to his advancement in the study of design and 
ornament. 

A number of drawings are given, from Nature, of 
Flowers, Leaves, Foliage, Birds, Insects, &c., which 
Students may find useful as material for the units of their 
essays in design, and lastly, one of the features of the book 
is the explanation of some of the rudimentary but important 
laws and principles, which should guide the young Student 
in the Art of designing ornament and decoration. 

JAMES WARD. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 

PAGE 

JNTRODUCTORY I 



CHAPTER II 

ON THE DRAWING AND DESIGNING OF BORDER ORNAMENT AND BI- 
LATERAL ARRANGEMENTS ... 



CHAPTER III 
ON THE DESIGNING OF ORNAMENT TO FILL GIVEN SPACES . . . l6 



CHAPTER IV 

BRUSH-DRAWING 

CHAPTER V 

STENCILLING . . . . 



24 



29 



CHAPTER VI 

INTERLACING AND STRAP-WORK ORNAMENT 35 

CHAPTER VII 

.SOME APPLICATIONS OF DESIGN AND ORNAMENT 39 

COUNTERCHANGE ORNAMENT . 45 

SURFACE PATTERN DESIGN. THE DROP PATTERN .46 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



BORDER DESIGNS 



BI-LATERAL ARRANGEMENTS 



GEOMETRICAL FIGURES AND CONSTRUCTION LINES 

GEOMETRICAL FIGURES, SUBDIVISIONS 

TRIANGLES ; DESIGNS FOR THE FILLING OF ... 

SQUARES ; „ „ 

CIRCLES ; „ „ 

PENT.AGOXS ; „ „ 

OBLONGS ; „ „ 

OGEE AND LOZENGE SHAPES ; 

SEMICIRCLE OR LUNETTE ; 

LEAF FORMS ; TYPES OF 

FLOWER FORMS ; TYPES OF 

FOLIAGE ; EXAMPLES OF 

FRUIT ; VARIOUS liXAMPLES OF ... . 

INSECT AND BIRD FORMS 

BIRD, FISH, AND ANIMAL FORMS . . 
BRUSH FORMS AND BRUSH EXPRESSION 
SILHOU^TE LEAF AND FLO\VER FORMS 



PLATE 
I 

II 
III 

IV 

V 

VI 

VII 

VIII 

IX 

X 

XI 

XII 

XIII 

XIV 

XV 

XVI 

XVII 

XVIII 

XIX 

XX 

XXI 

XXII 



xii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

I'LATE 

SILHOUETTE PLANT FOR.MS XXIII 

TITLE PAGE IN BRUSH EXPRESSION . . . XXIV 

BRUSH DRAWING IN LINE ; EXAMPLE OF XXV 

STENCILLED ORNAMENT . . . XXVI 

JAPANESE STENCILS . . . XXVII 

STENCIL FOR SURFACE DECORATION . . . XXVIII 

STENCIL FOR PANEL DECORATION . . XXIX 

INTERLACING DESIGNS XXX 

INTERLACING AND STRAP-WORK ORNAMENT . , . XXXI 

GERMAN CUP DESIGN ; EXAMPLE OF STRAP-WORK . . XXXII 

PROPORTION, RATIO, ETC., EXAMPLES OF XXXIII 

PROPORTION OF SPACES IN FLOOR DESIGN ... . XXXIV 

PROPORTION IN ALTAR CLOTH DESIGN ... . . XXXV 

CARVED WOOD PANELS, PROPORTION AND WANT OF IN . XXXVI 

DESIGN FOR A MAJOLICA DISH . . . ... . XXXVII 

COUNTERCHANGE ORNAMENT XXXVIII 

CHECKER AND DIAPER DESIGNS XXXIX 

DROP PATTERNS IN TEXTILES . XL 

DROP PATTERN DESIGNED ON THE DIAMOND . . . . '"." . XLI 

DROP PATTERN DESIGNED ON THE RECTANGLE XLII 



PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 



CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTORY 

Any one who has gained an elementary knowledge of 
drawing, derived from making copies of simple ornamental 
or natural forms, may be taught the principles and may 
begin the practice of rudimentary design in ornament. To 
provide himself with material, to be used as units, or ele- 
ments, for his first attempts in design, it ig only necessary 
that the student should be able to draw, with the pencil or 
brush, some fair representations of simple flowers and leaves 
of plants from nature ; or if there should be any difficulty 
in obtaining characteristic natural forms for study in the 
schools, the master should draw some simple examples of 
leaves or flowers on the blackboard, as units for the pro- 
posed composition in design, or the pupils should be allowed 
to copy some well-drawn and accurate illustrations from 
nature for this purpose. The word "accurate " is not used 



2 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

here to imply that the copies should be imitated from nature 
in a photographic sense, but that they should be truthful in 
a general way, showing the correct growth and spirit of the 
natural specimen, and should be drawn more in elevation 
than in perspective. The importance of having good and 
accurate examples of drawings from nature and pictorial 
art on the walls of our schools may be illustrated by the 
following example qf " how not to do it." The writer, 
when visiting one of our public schools, saw some coloured 
lithographic examples of plant drawings on the walls, 
intended for the use of the designing class ; one of these 
was named the " Common Wild Rose ; " but it was anything 
but common, for this libel of nature was represented with 
four petals instead of the usual five, and further, the lower 
leaves were arranged on the leaf stalk alternately, instead 
of growing opposite as they do in nature ! 

Very few kinds of plants have been used as ornament in 
decorative design, considering the vast storehouse of nature 
in this direction. Ancient and medieval artists, and even 
modern artists have been contented with a limited choice. 
Egypt and Assyria used the lotus, lily, papyrus, palm and 
daisy. The ivy, olive, fir tree, and oak, honeysuckle, and 
acanthus, were chiefly used by the Greeks, and later by the 
Romans and artists of the Renaissance period (thirteenth 
to seventeenth century) ; medieval or Gothic artists, in- 
cluding the earlier Romanesque and Byzantine decorators, 
used the vine, lily, passion-flower, maple and trefoil, plants 
which had symbolic meanings. 



INTRODUCTOR^' 3 

The Chinese kept to the peony and chrysanthemum, the 
Japanese to the bamboo, fir tree, cherry and ahnond trees, 
and the Saracens adopted a peculiar form of leaf in their 
ornament, which is not exactly a leaf. The Persians in 
their older work affected the Indian and Chinese natural 
forms, but in their later work show an artistic appreciation 
of many well-known flowers, such as the tulip, the rose, 
the aster and hyacinth, but few plants, considering the 
numerous varieties in nature, have been converted into 
historic ornament. 

Fruits have usually been bunched together in masses, or 
used in festoons in ornament. 

Lessons may be learned from the treatment of plants in 
Japanese art, such as directness of drawing, flexibility and 
gracefulness of the natural curves, and their simplicity in 
rendering foliage and floral forms, and from the Persians 
in their delightful conventional echoes of plant form, as 
expressed in their tile and pottery decoration. 

The leaves, flowers, and fruit of the commonest plants 
will serve as the best material for use in the first exercises 
of rudimentary design. Many varieties also of moths, 
butterflies, and other insects, as well as some simple forms 
of animals, fishes, and birds, will provide useful material 
when the student has had some experience with the simpler 
flower and leaf forms. 

I think it would be a wise thing if exercises in rudi- 
mentary design could take the place of the usual practices 
in freehand drawing in most of our primary and secondary 

B 2 



4 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

schools, for it is evident that the young student might 
advance quite as rapidly in the art of drawing, by executing 
his own designs, provided he is not allowed to use tracing 
paper or to adopt any other mechanical means to obtain 
the "turn over," or repeats of his pattern, as he would by 
going through the usual dreary experience of copying the 
classical acanthus foliage, and spiral scroll-work. The 
Roman and Italian acanthus foliage has had long innings 
as the stock examination copies, and it is quite certain that 
both teachers and students would welcome, occasionally, an 
examination copy derived from some other natural or 
historical source. 

The study of classical ornament should have attention 
concurrently with the drawing of, and designing from, 
examples of plants and natural forms, not to be copied so 
much as a means of learning to draw, but for the purpose 
of enabling the student to learn the principles and con- 
struction on which the composition of good ornament is 
based. Too much copying of the acanthus foliage in art 
is dry food for the young student, and is apt to create in 
him a distaste for his work and to dull his imaginative 
powers. Generally speaking, the study of historic ornament 
might safely be left until the student has learned to draw 
from objects and natural forms, and has had a fair amount 
of practice 'in rudimentary design, for at this period in his 
education his mind and judginent will be more ready to 
receive and profit by the lessons which may be derived 
from a study of such work. 



INTRODUCTORY 5 

Although the early study and practice of elementary 
design is recommended, it should be unde-stood that draw- 
ing from models and real objects should not be neglected ; 
on the contrary, lessons in model drawing should alternate 
with exercises in rudimentary design, in order that the pupil 
should improve his hand and eye in the matters of pro- 
portion and in the application of the laws of perspective, 
when representing solid objects. Ten minutes or a quarter 
of an hour's practice, once in a fortnight, in drawing from 
memory some object shown to the student a few minutes 
before he begins his task, would be an interesting change 
in the student's work, and a valuable exercise for the 
mind. 

As a training for the mind, apart from its practical 
value in the matter of hand and eye training, the practice 
of design, as a school subject, is analogous to that of literary 
composition, and is of the utmost value to the average 
pupil in stimulating and developing his inventive powers. 
Children are often asked, at school, to write essays on given 
subjects, the object being that they may learn how to put 
their own ideas and thoughts on paper ; and further, tkese 
compositions are, at the same time, exercises in the 
grammatical construction of sentences. The intellectual 
and reasoning faculties are here brought into action, afford- 
ing a welcome relief from the pupil's more abstract and 
mechanical lessons in other subjects. Originality of ideas, 
the quality of the subject-matter, and the grammatical or 
logical composition of the words and sentences, are looked 



6 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

for in any literary effort of merit. It is obvious that a 
training in the art of literary composition is of more value 
than many other endless lessons in the mechanical acquisition 
of knowledge of school subjects towards the developrnen^ 
of the pupil's intelligence ; and just in the same way, with 
the hand and eye training added, will a systematic course 
of lessons in rudimentary design help to brighten and 
develop the mind of the pupil in a far greater degree 
than the continuous and mechanical copying of drawing 
examples. 

In beginning the study of rudimentary design, forms of 
the commoner plants should be used as material in prefer- 
ence to abstract forms derived merely from straight and 
curved lines. Design in purely abstract, geometrical, or 
conventional forms will be better left until the pupil has 
had one or two years' practice in the arrangement of natural 
elements as compositions in design. In view of this, I 
propose that we should take the ivy plant for our first 
lesson in design, which, with its leaves and berries, though 
common enough, is one of the most beautiful plants we have 
around us. It will also form an object-lesson in the illus- 
tration for some of the most elementary but important 
principles of ornament. 

From the first lesson, the master should explain to his 
class of young students the elementary principles of orna- 
ment, which might also be termed the grammar of decorative 
composition, without conforming to which, a design, how- 
ever effective, can hardly be considered good ornament. 



INTRODUCTORY 7 

We may admit that a great poet may make his own grammar, 
and a great artist may occasionally defy principles and 
artistic laws, but beginners in any art will make more 
progress when guided by sound principles and definite 
laws. 



CHAPTER II 

ON THE DRAWING AND DESIGNING OF BORDER ORNAMENT 
AND BI-LATERAL ARRANGEMENTS 

To create an interest in the mind of the young pupil for 
his work, whether in drawing or design, it is important to 
introduce to his notice some natural form or object, or a fair 
representation of the same, so that he may recognise it as 
the form of something he may have seen in nature. He 
should be instructed how to design some rudimentary 
arrangement based on this natural form, and to keep his 
uwork, at first, as simple as possible, but the recurring units 
of his design should be drawn as carefully and correctly as 
his powers will admit. 

If possible, a sprig of the natural plant should be obtained, 
and a bold drawing from the plant should be made on the 
blackboard by the teacher in cases where large classes of 
pupils have to be taught. It would be better, however, to 
get the pupils to make their own drawings from nature 
when possible. This is not always practicable, nor is it 
convenient always to obtain natural specimens, but, as before 



DRAWING AND DESIGNING OF BORDER ORNAMENT 9 

mentioned, the drawings on the blackboard may be made 
from good representations of the leaves, flowers, and fruit 
of some plant, and the pupils should be asked to copy them 
on the top left-hand side of their sheet of drawing-paper in 
pencil, and afterwards put a wash of any simple flat colour 
on the drawing. The drawing of the plant selected to make 
the design from ought to be truthful in the general out- 
line, without much perspective or foreshortening. A few 
renderings of different shapes of leaves, buds, flowers, or 
fruit, common to the plant, will be useful as presenting a 
variety of material, but no botanical sections or separated 
organs of the plant should be shown. Plant sections and 
shapes of the various organs in plant life are necessary for 
for scientific illustration and study, but not from an artistic 
point of view, for in science we require the whole truth, 
but in art we only want selected truths. 

Reference to Plate I. shows how the leaves and berries 
of the ivy plant are used as units of the border designs 
and bi-lateral or symmetrical arrangements. A diagram of 
the plant is shown on the plate. The typical ivy leaf is en- 
closed in a pentagon whose lowest side is shorter than the 
others. A series of similar pentagons should be lightly 
drawn in pencil, each about three inches in height, to form 
a border as shown at A. No measuring should be attempted. 
A leaf should then be drawn inside each of the pentagons, 
and the leaf stalks joined to the horizontal bottom line. 
After the whole work is clearly and firmly outlined with the 
lead-pencil, or with a brush and colour, it should be filled 



lo PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

in with any agreeable water-colour wash. This design (A) 
should occupy the upper half of a quarter-imperial sheet of 
paper. Accurate and careful drawing is of the greatest im- 
portance, and should be attended to in all the exercises in 
design, for the system of teaching here set forth embraces, 
what is to be hoped, a rational gradation of lessons in 
freehand drawing, using either the pencil or brush, as well 
as progressive studies in decorative design. 

After the above exercise is finished, or at a subsequent 
lesson, the master should instruct the pupil to copy his 
design in direct brush-work, on the same sheet of paper, 
parallel to, and underneath the original exercise. A small 
saucer filled with any agreeable colour, or coloured ink, 
should be provided — one, say, for every two students. Sable 
brushes of a medium size are best for use, and will be found 
cheaper in the end than camel-hair brushes. When the 
brush is well charged with colour, the horizontal line should 
be drawn first, then each leaf should be copied, beginning 
at the apex, and drawing down rapidly a vertical stroke 
through the intended centre of the leaf to meet the horizon- 
tal line and to form the leaf-stalk ; the contour of the leaf 
should be drawn quickly and as accurately as possible ; then 
finally the whole leaf should be filled in with colour. Fig. 
B, on Plate I. illustrates the brush-work effect, though here 
the design is slightly varied, the result being a " silhouette"- 
where the treatment of " mass " is the primary consideration. 
The latter exercise makes a pleasant variation in the pupil's- 
task, and is an extremely useful and important factor in the 



PLATE IV. 




Bl-LATERAL OR SYMMETRICAL ARRANGEMENTS FROM THE HORSE CHESTNUT. 

\.To face page 14. 



PLATE I. 








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Border Designs and Bi-laterai, Arrangements from the Ivy Plant. 

{To face page lo. 



DRAWING AND DESIGNING OF BORDER ORNAMENT ii 

education of his hand and eye in the matter of direct re- 
presentation ; for in the execution of this kind of work he 
cannot rub out any portion he once puts in, and knowing 
this he is forced to work with great care. 

The atte.mpts of beginners in these first exercises will; 
of course, be very moderate, rough, unequal, and in 
some cases amusing, but practice will very soon effect an 
improvement if the system is only given a fair trial. 

I should point out that the " brush-drawing" here recom- 
mended is not to be confounded with the Kindergarten 
"blobbing," which, though a species of brush-work, and a 
very entertaining occupation for young children, is more of 
an amusement than a serious aid to art education. We 
see, at times, in the exhibitions of primary school work, 
some wonderful examples of patience and monotony. Illus- 
trating the fashionable "blobbing" species of brush-work, 
which are very clever and smart in execution, very neat, 
but very mechanical. 

The objection to " blobbing " is that it is usually carried 
too far in some schools, that it leads to the suppression of 
individuality in the pupil's work, and the results from an 
educational point of view hardly justify the spending of 
the time which is usually bestowed upon it. Brush-work 
" silhouetting " from nature, and the translation of orna- 
ment, as practice in brush-drawing, will be considered and 
illustrated later on. (See Chapter IV.) 

Fig. A, on Plate 1., is an illustration of " repetition " in 
ornament, and Fig. B is an example of "alternation." 



U 



12 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

The inverted heart-shaped ivy leaf alternates with the 
ordinary five-pointed variety. Fig. C shows "alternation" 
with the leaf and berries of the ivy, and illustrates " con- 
trast." The arrangement of the berries illustrates the 
principle of "radiation" in the growth of the berry-stalks, 
the berries expanding in an " umbel " shape. 

It will be noted that "radiation" is also illustrated by 
the disposition of the principal veing in the ivy leaf, this 
construction being similar in all leaves of the vine family, 
of which the ivy is a member. 

The next lesson, on the designing of the continuous 
border, is illustrated on Plate II., the elements of which are 
derived from the wood-sorrel. After the diagram of the 
plant is drawn, the student should be allowed to make a 
circle with compasses, to contain the first trefoil leaf of the 
border design. This circle should be divided equally by 
six radial lines, and the first leaf should be drawn in as af 
Fig. A. The repeating leaves should be drawn of the 
same size, without measuring, and the connecting base-line 
afterwards. When the border design is outlined in carefully, 
and the masses of the leaves are coloured, assuming that 
the student has' done this on the top half of his sheet of 
paper, a brush-work silhouette copy ought to be made on 
the lower half of the paper, as explained in the former case 
of the ivy-leaf border. 

The second border, B, on Plate II., has the flower of the 
wood-sorrel alternating with the leaf When converting 
the flower to ornamental purposes,- a conventional rendering 



PLATE II. 




Border Designs and Bi-lateral Arrangements from the Wood-Sorrel Plant. 

[To face page 12, 



PLATE III. 




Border Designs from the Oak Leaf and Acorn, showing Various Treatments of 

THE Corner. 

[To face page 13. 



DRAWING AND DESIGNING OF BORDER ORNAMENT 13 

should be given, using the circle and the inscribed regular 
pentagon as the geometrical elements on which the flower 
is constructed, but in the repetitions of the flower or leaf 
these mechanical helps should not be resorted to, for the 
object of learning to draw in a freehand manner should 
always be kept in view. Fig. C, on this plate, has for the 
motive of the design the folded side view of the trefoil 
leaf — the ordinary appearance of the leaf when it is 
"sleeping" in the evening and during the night. This 
design might be termed a "chasing" or running border. 

Plate III. shows five different ways of designing the 
corner in border ornament, the motives being the leaves 
and acorns of the oak. To design a satisfactory corner to 
a border is not an easy task. It is surprising to find how 
very few ways there are in which a running border orna- 
ment can be " mitred " so as to look well. The difficulty is 
often got over by treating the corner space as a square, but 
if there is no " echo " of some part of the border ornament 
in the square, the problem is not solved. It will be noted 
that the conventional rendering of the oak leaves and 
acorns on this plate, although very much simplified from 
the natural specimens, still retain the spirit and character 
of nature. It is po.ssible, of course, to produce good orna- 
ment, as the Greeks, Romans, and Saracens have done, in 
which the natural forms have become so abstract, or so far 
" corrupted," as to have lost their quality as derivatives 
from nature, but we should remember, if we are to produce 
any measure, however small, of originality in our designs, 



14 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

or if we are to interest ourselves and others in our work, 
we shall succeed better, if we try to keep a reminiscence of 
nature in our productions. 

The shapes of the leaves and acorns on Plate III. are 
modified in proportion, height, and width according to the 
requirements of their positions. 

Figs. A and B, on this plate, may be termed " radiating 
borders," and C, D, and E "running" patterns of borders. 
The border at A shows a severe rendering of the leaf, and 
has the enclosing line around the edges, the first step to 
mark the position and shape ; and the " squat " shape of the 
acorns brings them into harmony with the border lines and 
spreading character of the leaves. 

Students are advised to try other plants, as well as the 
ones given, for their exercises in border designing, and 
after some practice in the latter they should try to com- 
pose bi-lateral or symmetrical arrangements. These should 
be designed very simply, without any reference to enclosing 
or boundary lines. 

This kind of exercise is very useful as practice in getting 
the balance of "mass" and "line," and is excellent for 
freehand practice when executed on a fairly large scale, 
which should not be less than a quarter-imperial size for 
each design. When the design is drawn and coloured 
flady, a copy of it should be made in direct brush-\York, 
about one-third the size of the original. 

Examples of these designs are given at D and E, on 
Plate I. ; the latter example, from the ivy plant, is simpli- 



PLATE V. 




A, B, AND C, Bl-LATERAL ARRANGEMENTS FROM THE TULIP AND WATER LiLY ; 

D, Radial Design from Water Lily. 

\To face fage 15. 



DRAWING AND DESIGNING OF BORDER ORNAMENT 15 

fied to an extreme degree, but still remains vested with 
a reminiscence of nature. " Symmetry," or like-sidedness, 
"balance," and "contrast" are obviously the principles 
exemplified in this design. Figs. D and E, on Plate II., 
derived from the wood-sorrel, though square in contour, 
are not designed to fill a square. Three varieties of 
symmetrical combinations are shown on Plate IV., and are 
derived from the horse-chestnut. 

The tulip is used as a motive in the designs at A and B, 
Plate v., and the design C shows an arrangement of the 
folded leaves and buds of the water-lily in elevation, while 
the figure at D is a combination of the flowers and leaves 
of the same plant shown in plan ; this is a very geome- 
trical but legitimate rendering of the water-lily plant in 
ornament. This design is very suitable for a treatment in 
three colours, but is not so good as a brush-work exercise. 

Bi-lateral combinations are far less difficult to design 
than the filling of given spaces in ornament, or designing 
for a special purpose, as in applied designs. The student 
has only to be careful to obtain some pleasing lines of 
arrangement and forms, the doubling over of which, in 
most cases, is nearly sure to give pleasing results. Even 
an ugly-shaped blot, or lop-sided form, will often, when 
doubled over, make a satisfactory bit of ornament. 



CHAPTER III 

ON THE DESIGNING OF ORNAMENT TO FILL GIVEN SPACES 

Some geometrical figures are represented on Plate VI., 
numbered i to lo, the filling of which with ornamental 
arrangements will now be considered. Apart from the 
designing of a pleasing combination of decorative forms, the 
student has to consider the enclosing lines of the figure 
which is to contain the ornament. He should also bear in 
mind that the principal masses should be so arranged that 
they may " echo '' the general shape of the figure selected 
for decoration. Before deciding the actual scheme of the 
work, it will be found advisable to make a few trials or small 
sketches, arranging roughly the positions of the principal 
masses by blots that may bear some relation to the plant 
selected for the design, and afterwards connecting these by 
the principal lines of the proposed composition. 

This putting in of " mass " before " line " is the better way 
to proceed when building up a design, and enables the 
student to formulate, in a short space of time, something like 
the general effect of his proposed task ; this is shown in the 



PLATE VI. 









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Geometrical Figures, i to lo ; Geometric Construction Lines on which Patterns 

ARE BASED, II TO 1 6. 

\To face page i6. 



PLATE VII. 










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Fillings of Squares by Geometrical Subdivisions, 17 to 28; Oblongs, 29 to 31; 
Triangles, 32 to 36 ; Lunettes, 37 to 39 ; Circles, 40 to 42. 

\To follow Plate VI. 



PLATE VIII. 





Designs for the Filling of a Triangle from the Lesser Celandine; the Small 

Diagrams indicate the Method of the First Arrangement of the 

Principal Masses. 

[To face page 17. 



DESIGNING OF ORNAMENT TO FILL GIVEN SPACES 17 

small sketches on Plates VIII. and XIV. An important 
matter to be attended to in designing a filling for a space 
is that a guiding line should be drawn parallel, or concentric, 
as the case may be, to the sides of the proposed figure that 
is to contain the ornament, to which the latter must extend 
and touch at regulated intervals, so that it may appear to 
" carry a line " around itself. The plain space thus left be- 
tween the ornament and enclosing line of the shape selected 
is valuable, and acts as a kind of border. This line should 
not be left in the finished work. (See the triangular fillings 
on Plate VI 11.) 

rPhe designs filling the triangles on Plate VIII. are 
derived from the Lesser Celandine plant, and show three 
ways of filling the figure. The design at A shows upward 
growth from the centre of the base, B and C are radial in 
construction, and D is slightly spiral in growth. The small 
rough trial sketches on this plate should be noted. 

Three fillings of the square are shown on Plate IX. ; the 
motive of the designs is the Wild rose. ' When arranging the 
units of a design, the student should endeavour, if possible, 
to get some extra decorative value by making the ground 
between the ornament an interesting feature in itself Some 
pleasing shapes in the ground spaces may occasionally be 
obtained, but not always, as many arrangements of good 
ornament do not readily lend themselves to the production 
of ornamental ground spaces ; but this effect should be aimed 
for where possible, as it is always a great gain, and another 
source of interest. Attempts in this direction may be 



i8 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

noticed at A and B, on Plate IX., the dark central work at 
Fig. C, on Plate X,, and in the pentagon, B, on Plate 
XI. It may be seen that the square fillings at A and 
B, Plate IX., are radial in construction, an easy method 
of filling a square, and perhaps the most .satisfactory. 
The upright filling at C is more difficult, for this kind of 
growth in the design is more suitable for the upright 
oblong shape. The square character is here kept by 
having important similar features at the corners to 
emphasise the shape ; for instance, if leaves were used 
instead of the flower forms at the lower corners, the 
result would not be so good, as this would, when combined 
with the central leaves, make a more triangular shape, 
and unsatisfactory as part of a square filling. 

The filling of the circle is, like the square, more satis- 
factory if the ornament radiates from the centre, as at C, on 
Plate X. There is not, however, I the slightest objection in 
the ornament springing from the bdttom, as at Fig. A, where 
the cyclamen is used as ornament, or in the " chasing " 
growth of the pink at B. 

The cyclamen design is an illustration of "stability"' in 
ornament, and the circle filling from the pink serves to 
show "balance without symmetry" in the disposition of the 
flowers. The larger circle at C is occupied with a design 
based on the nasturtium. This design may serve to 
illustrate the law of " even distribution " of the elements 
used, and of " contrast" in the treatment of the latter, and 
also of the ground spaces. It will be noticed that the 



PLATE IX. 




Fillings of the Square. 



A AND B, Radial Ornament; C, Upright Growth. 

[To face page 18 



PLATE X. 




Three Methods of Circt.e Filling. A, Symmetrical Treatment of the Cyclamen; 
B, Spiral Arrangement of the Pink; C, Radial Treatment of Nasturtium. 

[To follow Plate IX. 



PLATE XI. 




Three Methods of Filling a Pentagon, from the Datura Plant. A^ Radial; 
B, Spiral ; and C, Vertical Growth. 

[To face page i9- 



DESIGNING OF ORNAMENT TO FILL GIVEN SPACES 19 

slight expression of "movement" in the lower portion of 
the stems of both leaves and flowers is here counteracted 
by the radial position of the flower and leaf masses, which 
gives "rest," as opposed to movement; and where the 
qualities of movement and rest are equally balanced in a 
design, the contrasting result is desirable, and devoid of 
monotony. 

Three ways of filling the pentagon are shown on Plate 
XI., the designs being based on the Datura plant. The 
leaf and flower in elevation are arranged radially at Fig. A, 
while the plant of the flower and a spiral treatment of the 
leaves is seen at B. In the larger pentagon at C, leaves, 
flowers, buds, and fruit are all used, and some advantage is 
taken in the construction of the design from its natural 
growth. This plant is admirably suited for decorative 
purposes, from the ornamental variety of its difierent parts, 
and might be used with advantage much more than it is in 
modern decoration. 

On Plate XII. is presented a variety of treatment in 

the filling of the oblong space. An upright character of 

ornamental filling is shown at A, where the Cowslip is the 

motive of the design. While the arrangement emphasises 

the upright oblong shape, the natural habit of the growth 

is adhered to. The vine panel at B is an example of 

"balance without symmetry," and is a more difficult 

method of filling a space than that of a purely symmetrical 

arrangement. Balance must be kept in any composition of 

this kind. Although we strive for the effect of " even dis- 

c 2 



20 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

tribution," we must avoid any appearance of repetition in 
the size and placing of the units and masses ; the latter 
should vary in size and gradation, but not violently so, and 
the whole composition should look easy and natural in 
growth. 

The young student should practise the using of birds, 
insects, or other animal forms in his designs as soon as he 
is able to draw them. If not practicable, or if the task be 
too difficult to draw from nature, drawings should be made 
from still life or museum specimens, or even from good 
drawings of natural history examples. Cases of moths, 
butterflies, and stuffed birds ought to be part of the equip- 
ment of all schools, and if the specimens are well mounted 
and correctly described, they would be of more educa- 
tional value than the badly drawn and worse coloured ' 
lithographs that usually find a place on the walls of our 
public schools. 

Some suggestions of insect, bird, and animal life forms 
are given on Plates XIX. and XX., that might be useful to 
the elementary student in design, but it is strongly recom- 
mended that when possible the student should make. studies 
from life or from good examples of preserved specimens. 

The ravens introduced amongst the foliage of the beech 
at Fig. C, on Plate XII., are so disposed as to emphasise 
the horizontal dimensions of the oblong, and their dominant 
forms are contrasting elements to the foliage, which would 
be otherwise monotonous in effect, if the whole space was 
occupied by the similar-sized leaves only. This illustrates 



PLATE XII. 




Oblong Fillings. A, Vertical Design from the Cowslip ; B, Unsymmetrical Vine 
Treatment; C, Horizontal Treatment of Bird and Beech Tree Forms. 

[To face ^age 20. 



PLATE XIII 




Fillings of the Ogee and Square Lozenge Shapes. A and B show the same 

Design on a Dark and Light Ground ; D and E are Similar Treatments. The 

Ogee Shape at C has a Treatment of the Wild Hyacinth. 

[To face ^age 21. 



PLATE XIV. 





Fillings of the Semicircle or the Lunett'e. A is from the Lemon Tree ; D, from 
THE Christmas Rose. B and C are Diagrams of the First Arrangement of 

Principal Masses. 

[To face page 20. 



PLATE XV. 




riJCTUKTiun 



pffY 



rjinsY KutiDCLm k°5c 



PKinRq5E 




StKRVEEKRt. 



I CYCLancn. BtrrEKSvccT. 

Types of Various Leaf Forms. 



naiuv. 



\To follow Plate XIV. 



PLATE XVI. 




fEHVlBKIX. 



rixAwc TnoTuc. ' fuiur. luur. 

Various Flower Forms akd Flower Growths. 



JaS«ltlE; 



\To follow Plate Xl^. 



PLATE XVII. 




n«nesTY. 1} \j cicnaTis. '' W 

Examples of Various Kinds of Foliage. 

{.To follow Plate XVI. 



PLATE XVIII. 




Examples of Various Kinds of Fruit. 



ITofolUm Plate XVII. 



PLATE XIX. 




Insect and Bird Forms, &c., as Suggestions for use in Design. 

ITo follow Plate XVIII. 



DESIGNING OF ORNAMENT TO FILL GIVEN SPACES 21 

a common principle in ornament — namely, that if dominant 
forms are used in a composition, the rest of the design 
should be kept in strict subordination by using some very 
simple forms in a much greater repetition to complete the 
work. 

On Plate XIII. there are some fillings of the 
"ogee" form, at A, B, and C, the former two being ex- 
amples of the same design on a light and a dark ground, 
derived from the Narcissus. The ogee space at C is filled 
with a design based on the Wild Hyacinth, a plant which 
lends itself to the decoration of this particular form. The 
central mass is suggested by the cluster of young buds, 
which takes a shape like this before opening into flower. 
The ogee shape is an important and common basis of a 
great family of diaper designs, particularly of Persian and 
Italian textiles. This comes of its adaptability of repeating 
all over a surface without leaving any interspaces. (See the 
application of this at Fig. D, Plate XXXIX.) The designs 
at D and E, on Plate XIII., are shown as the same pattern 
on a light and dark ground, and fill a lozenge shape, or 
square placed angle-wise. The honeysuckle in elevation, 
as the motive used, lends itself admirably to the filling of 
this space, and so illustrates the law of fitness or congruity, 
a condition which is generally fulfilled when the lines, units, 
and masses of a design " echo " the main lines of the 
enclosing shape. 

Plate XIV. illustrates some methods of filling the 
"lunette " or semi-circular form. At B andC are examples 



22 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

of the previously mentioned small rough sketches of the 
blotting-in of the idea for the larger finished work. The 
student should always begin his designs in this way, and 
after making a few, he should select the best of them for 
the basis of his intended work. 

Although the leaves of the lemon tree and fruit, used as 
the units of the filling at Fig. A, are nearly of the same size, 
the necessary contrast and variety are obtained by the 
different shapes and surface treatment of each. In this 
example two colours might be used effectively to give 
variety to the scheme. The design at D is a bold and 
conventional rendering of the Hellebore, or Christmas rose. 

It is to be hoped that sufficient has been said, and 
enough illustrations given on the Plates numbered from 
VIII. to XIV., to help the student when designing for the 
filling of any given shape or form. Such forms as the 
diamond, or double equilateral triangle, the hexagon, and 
the octagon have not been treated, but the same rules and 
principles mentioned in reference to the filling of the square, 
lozenge, circle, and pentagon, apply equally to the former 
shapes. 

It is strongly recommended that teachers should exercise 
their students in the use of plants and materials other than 
those givenMn the designs we have been considering, and 
for the suggested use of those who may have a difficulty 
in obtaining sufficient varieties of natural examples, I have 
drawn from nature some typical specimens of leaves, 
foliage, flowers, and fruit, which are named and reproduced 



PLATE XX. 




Bird, Fish, and Animal Forms as Suggestions for Use in Design. 

\To follow Plate XIX. and face page 23' 



DESIGNING OF ORNAMENT TO FILL GIVEN SPACES 23 

as illustrations on Plates XV., XVI., XVI I., and XVIII. 
respectively. Insect, bird, and animal forms will be found 
on Plates XIX. and XX., while further examples of leaves 
and flowers, &c., are illustrated as brush-work translations 
from nature on Plates XXI. and XXII. 



CHAPTER IV 

BRUSH-DRAWING 

As a means of acquiring power in draughtsmanship, 
apart from its technical usefulness to the designer or painter, 
there is no better practice for the student than the making 
of studies, in direct brush-work, from plants, animal and 
bird forms. We know what consummate masters the Japanese 
are in brush-drawing, and how the greater portion of their 
decoration, book illustration, and pictorial work is executed 
direct with a full brush in colour or in ink. Even their 
ordinary writing is done with the brush, the use of which 
comes so naturally to them that its characteristics and 
influence are apparent in all their handicrafts. This brush- 
work feeling is strongly marked, for example, in their stencil 
cuttings. (See Plate XXVII.) 

The ornament in the decoration of Greek vases and on 
Indian, Persian, Moresque, and Mexican pottery, though 
taking floral, leaf, and geometric forms, is found to be mainly 
composed of brush forms, when analyzed. 



BRUSH-DRAWING 25 

The use of the full brush of colour by pottery painters 
and other decorators gives a richness of quality and a 
certain look of freedom of execution to their work, which 
no kind of printing, stencilling, or other mechanical methods 
of application can hope to rival ; and whether the treat- 
ment be fine and delicate, or broad and full, there is always 
a satisfying charm in the work that has been executed in 
a decorative manner in direct brush-work. 

This kind of decoration might be broadly divided into 
two classes : one where the decoration is composed or built 
up of brush strokes purely, and the other where it is 
rendered in direct brush expression as a " silhouette " or 
shadow-like form. 

Both classes of brush-work should be cultivated by the 
student, but the latter class is by far the most valuable as a 
training for the draughtsman ; for, although a great deal 
might be said in favour of the first-named class, the practice 
of it cannot be compared, from an artistic point of view, 
with that of the second method. 

If we examine that great ornamental class of historic 
otterydecoration, which has been thought bymany to owe its 
origin exclusively to brush strokes or forms, it will be ound 
that, although the general aspect of the decoration would 
lead one to suppose that the ornamental forms were generated 
by the shapes of the brush strokes, this is not always the 
case, for in numerous instances they are only translations 
from previously existing examples of relief ornamentation 
or of natural forms, but by endless repetitions of these 



26 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

models, with the brush, they have acquired the likeness 
and features of an apparent brush-stroke prototype.' The 
brush-stroke ancestor theory may be plausible, but it is 
hardly logical, and just now. its popularity is so great that 
it is in danger of being ridden to death. 

In a purely decorative direction brush forms and strokes 
may be used very effectively as a medium of ornamental 
expression. Such forms 'are shown at Figs. A and A' on 
Plate XXL, and at B, F, and C the foliage and leaves are 
composed of similar direct brush strokes. The bi,rds at D 
and the ornament at G are also rendered in a similar 
manner. A strictly heraldic or conventional form, derived 
from nature, such as the eagle on this plate, readily lends 
itself to expression in brush " strokes, an example, of the 
fitness of conventional expression of a decorative object. 

The ornamental design at E, Plate XXL, is an example 
of a brush-work translation from a cast of Italian ornar 
ment ; it illustrates a most useful method of study that 
should be cultivated by all art students. In exercises of 
this kind the student should work direct with a full brush 
of colour or ink ; no previous drawing in of the work with 
.the pencil or point should be attempted. The light lines 
or markings are left out to show the construction, which, if 
filled, in, would make the study a complete silhouette, or 
shadow-drawing, of the original ; it is better, however, when 
painting; direct from casts or nature, to leave out the parts 
which define the shapes, and mark the articulations and 
divisions, so as to explain the drawing, and this leads to 



PLATE X\I. 




Brush Forms and Brush Expression of Ornament. 



[To face fage 26 



PLATE XXII. 




i^f ^ /\ttllB«RC 








Brush Expression of 



Leaf and Flower Forms in Silhouette. 

\To face i>ape 2'- 



BRUSH-DRAWING 27 

the exercise of more care and accuracy, and also is a greater 
test, in -.correct drawing with the -brush., • 

Studies of this nature are: of the utmost value for the 
education .of the student, as they serve to form -useful 
habits of keen observation of the model's construction and 
proportion of parts ; for he will be all the more anxious to 
avoid-, mistakes in drawing, knowing that it will be almost 
impossible to correct them afterwards. ^ 

Direct brush-work expression, or "silhouetting," of plant 
forms enables one to gain . a greater ' knowledge of the 
■correct shapes of leaves,, flowers, and foliage,- &c., in a 
much shorter time, than that derived from the making of 
such studies, from nature, with the point or pencil, in out- 
line ; and the image or typical shapes of each plant will be 
more effectually fixed in the memory when executed in the 
former method, for the very good reason that images or 
shapes are always better seen and remembered when 
presented in the " mass " than in " line " drawings. ■ 

On the other hand, it goes without saying, that, in 
silhouette studies, we miss the beauty of many valuable 
details seen in the natural specimen, which can be so 
well expressed in pencil or pen drawings, such as the vena- 
tion and turn of the leaf and flower petals, the growth 
junction of stems and leaf axils, and all the variations of 
light and shade. Brush-drawn exercises from plant life 
are, however, recommended as a valuable aid to the 
student or designer in their ordinary work, and as an 
alternative method of decorative expression. 



28 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

•In beginning studies of -this kind from nature it is advis- 
able to select single leaves and flowers, and make repeated 
copies of them. Progressive examples of such are given 
'on Plate XXII. After representing simple forms from 
nature, more important sprays of flowers and foliage may- 
be attempted, as on Plate XXIII. 

The design I have given on Plate XXIV. is an example 
of direct brush-work, and is intended for the decoration of 
a title-page. This example is an illustration of the expres- 
sion of "mass" in ornament, and the sea-horse panel on 
Plate XXy. is an example of brush-drawing rendered in 
"line." 



PLATE XXIII. 




Brush Expression of Plant Form in Silhouette. 



[To face itage 28. 



PLATE XXIV. 




Design foe Title Pace in Brush Drawing. 



\TofoUmu Plate XX til. 



PLATE XXV. 




ExAMPLR OF Brush Drawing in "Line." 



IT^ ffl((rw Plate XXIV, 



CHAPTER V 

STENCILLING 

Stencil-cutting, and designing for stencils, being one of 
the most elementary divisions of Art craftsmanship, may 
appropriately be introduced to the notice of the young 
student in these pages, as it forms an additional " hand and 
eye " subject for those pupils who have spent some time in 
the study of elementary design ; and, as an interesting 
variation in the progressive work of the young designer, I 
would strongly recommend the subject to the attention of 
teachers and students. > 

The materials required for the work are few and simple 
in character. A sheet of cartridge or ", Whatman's" paper 
— or, better still, what is known as the " Willesden " double- 
ply waterproof paper, a pocket-knife, sharp at the end of 
the blade, a sharpening stone, a few circular steel punches 
of various sizes, and a sheet of glass, lead, or zinc, to cut 
the stencil on, are all the materials that are wanted for the 
cutting out of the design. 



30 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

In designing for stencil plates, the main objects to aim 
for are clearness and boldness of pattern. Simplicity 
of effect, the avoidance of detail, and thin lines should 
characterise a good stencil design, these being, in fact, the 
integral parts of the stencil principle. 

As one of the first lessons in stencil-cutting, a very- 
simple design or drawing of an object, such as the butterfly 
at Fig. A, Plate XXVI., or the border at B, should be 
made direct on the paper that is to be used for the stencil 
plate. With a moderate amount of care, these designs may 
be easily cut. The design at B may be used as a border, 
or it maybe repeated in any direction to make an "all 
over " checker pattern. 

Great care must be used when designing for stencil work 
to make the " ties " come in such places that they may 
not only explain the drawing, but will of themselves be so 
arranged as to form part of the ornamental features, and so 
"help" the design. In illustration of this, the student is 
referred to the semicircular lines, where the "ties" are 
carried through the large central forms on Plate XXVIII., 
and those in the oblong panel, Plate XXIX. 

The diagram C, on Plate XXVI., is given as an ex- 
ample of the kind of stencil that provides a good lesson 
in accurate cutting ; here, and in all cases of circular 
designs for stencils, compasses should be used to obtain the 
requisite accuracy, and small circles and dots should be 
made with steel punches. 

At D, on the last-named plate, is an example of a 



PLATE XXVI. 



%!0I ixilixilixil 











/i^ 



Examples of Stencilled Ornament. 



[To /ace fage 30, 



STENCILLING 3' 

diaper pattern designed on a square, and so repeats in any 
direction. This is a type of a pattern in which two stencil 
plates may be used; the flowers inside the circles may 
be cut in one stencil and all the rest of the pattern 
in another, which would admit of two colours being 
effectively used in the pattern. 

Broadly speaking, there are two ways of cutting the 
pattern for a stencil : one, where the pattern is cut out of 
the plate, and another where the ground-work is cut out, 
the ornament in the latter case being expressed by the 
colour of the surface that may receive the stencil impression. 
The first method is illustrated at Figs. A, B, C, F, and G, 
on Plate XXVI., and the second method is shown at Fig. 
E. The method where the ground is cut away, leaving 
the pattern, is by far the more difficult in practice, as it 
requires the greatest possible care to keep the drawing 
correct. Before cutting a pattern of this kind, the student 
should paint in the ground-work in black, and not the parts 
that are intended to show as the ornament. 

Fig. F, on the above plate, is a free filling of a square 
form, the dots on the ground showing the use of the steel 
punch. Fig. G is given as an illustration of straight line 
work, and is an example of a very useful exercise in 
cutting. 

Stencil plates are very extensivelyused by the Japanese for 
all kinds of decoration, but principally for the ornamentation 
of silk and cotton fabrics, where, for this purpose, stencils take 
the place of our block and roller system of printing fabrics. 



32 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

The Japanese stencil-cutter begins his work by placing 
several sheets of thin strong brown paper on the top of 
each other, the uppermost sheet having the pattern drawn 
on it, and cuts through the lot at once, thus obtaining 
several accurate and similar cuttings, he then takes two 
sheets and places them accurately together, getting the 
correct fit by means of "register" holes or marks at the 
top and bottom of his sheets, but just before pasting or 
gluing the pairs of plates together he arranges a neat 
net- work, of fine silken threads on the top of the lower 
plate, these threads being securely fastened between the 
two sheets of the stencil, in order to give an additional 
strength to the stencil plate, so that it may last better under 
the wearing action of the stencil brush, which is very great, 
owing to the numerous impressions the plate is usually 
required to produce. 

Plate XXVII. is occupied by a few impressions taken 
from a Japanese stencil plate. The sharp clean cut, which 
may be noticed, is such as only the deft fingers of a 
Japanese can accomplish, and this work is so perfect of its 
kind that no European can rival, or hope to cotnpete with - 
it successfully. The light thin lines, indicating the silken 
net-work, may be seen in the above impressions, and 
although the Japanese designer does not intend these lines 
to be seen in his finished work, as 1;hey are usually 
obliterated by the stencil brush, yet, if by chance they 
assert their presence, they often add a beauty to the work 
than otherwise. 



PLATE XXVII. 





^4S 






^ 



'J^iS^ 




7^^ 



y^ 





Examples of Japanese SxENCiL-cuTTiNr,. 



[To ftzce page 32. 



PLATE XXVIII. 




fm7M 



miM 



mim 




Stencilled Design for an " All Over " Surface Decoration. 

(7V> foll^u Plate XXVII. 



PLATE XXIX. 




Design for a Panel Decojiation in Stencil Work. 

[To follow Plate XXVIII. and to face page 33. 



i STENCILLING 33 

The Japanese obtain great varieties of decorative effect 
In their stencil work, as in the cases where two or more 
plates are used to complete one pattern, or picture, thereby 
admitting of the use of two or more colours, or shades of 
one colour ; also, another, and a very common use in which 
stencil plates are employed by the Japanese artist, is in the 
part production of pictures. The stencil plate, which is 
occupied by a pictorial composition, is used to get a first 
impression of the subject, and this impression is finished 
off by the artist with his brush and colours, and often with 
his fingers, which he uses to get a softened or shaded effect 
while the original colour is still moist. It may thus be 
seen that the possibilities of stencil decoration are almost 
■endless In the hands of the ingenious Japanese. 

The kencil pattern on Plate XXVIII. is an example 
illustrating the stencil principle, which combines clearness 
and boldness, without any fine or delicate details, and, as 
before mentioned, the " ties " here are so arranged as to 
form part of the pattern, an example of a useful rule to 
observe in designing for stencils. This pattern is suit- 
able for a wall or for the decoration of a hanging, and is 
designed to repeat in both directions of height and width. 

The design on Plate XXIX. has its principal lines and 
masses controlled in their disposition by the enclosing lines 
of the oblong panel. 

The pigments or paints used in stencil decoration may be 
either oil colours, water colour, or tempera, the latter being 
a mixture of powder colours and pure gum, or size. If 

D 



34 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

water colours or tempera are used, the paper of the stencil 
plate must be rendered waterproof by a coating of thin oil 
varnish, or painter's " knotting " varnish, or the Willesden 
waterproof paper may be used. Stencil brushes of all 
sizes may be obtained at any colour shop, and common dark 
brown paper will answer the purpose of stencilling light- 
tinted patterns on, and the lighter shades of brown paper 
will do admirably for the reception of any dark tones of 
colour. Ordinary writing ink can be used for black im- 
pressions, especially if it is a little thick or old in the botde, 
and when using ink, or ordinary colours, a palette of 
porcelain, wood, or glass should be used on which to 
distribute the colour and charge the stencil brush before 
using it on the stencil plate. 



CHAPTER VI 

INTERLACING AND STRAP-WORK ORNAMENT 

The interlacing of linear forms in design has, from pre- 
historic times, always had a peculiar fascination for orna- 
mentists. The first ideas of such work may have been 
suggested by the utilitarian art of weaving and plaiting 
grasses and twigs together to form the mats which were 
used as one of the earliest kinds of human clothing, or it 
may have been suggested by the innumerable crossings and 
interfacings of the twigs and stems of trees and various 
plants. Whatever may have been the origin, there is 
always a delightful mystery and weirdness in the effect pro- 
duced by the crossings, re-crossings, interlacing, or weaving 
of the uppermost branches and stems of large trees when 
the sky is seen between the interfacings ; and in this effect 
is also seen the satisfying elements of grace, delicacy, and 
strength — qualities of the first order in any satisfactory 
composition of ornament. 

Strap-work is the natural development of linear inter- 

D 2 



36 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

lacing — a mere broadening of the line produces the strap — 
so it goes without saying that the principles which govern 
the interlacing line are also guides for the production of 
strap-work in ornament. More than three-parts of the 
ornament and decoration of the savage tribes, and Saracenic 
or Arabian, Byzantine, and Celtic ornament are composed 
of interlacing lines and strap-work. It enters also very 
largely into the carved ornament of the Elizabethan 
Renaissance, the decoration of Italian and French book- 
binding, German goldsmiths' work of the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries ; and the celebrated Oiron or Henri- 
Deux pottery ware is chiefly characterised by its decorative 
strap-work. 

Celtic twistings and interlacings are the most ingenious 
and exhaustive in this great order of ornament. Almost 
everything, whether derived from natural or artificial sources, 
underwent a change, or was ultimately developed, or 
"corrupted," in the hands of the Scandinavian or Celtic 
artist, to every imaginable form of knots and twists, some 
of the work being exceedingly clever and beautiful. (See 
Fig. 2, Plate XXXI.) 

In designing interlacing and strap- work ornament, the 
chief thing to do is to make the lines cross at a right angle, . 
or as near as possible in that direction. The lines should 
intersect or cross over, as cleanly as possible, in a direct 
manner — that is to say, they should never "branch" out 
of each other, or cross at an acute angle. Figs. 45, 46, 
and 49 on Plate XXX. clearly illustrate this law, and 



PLATE XXXI. 




Interlacing anb Strap-work Ornament. 

I, 8, 9 AND 10, Arabian. 3, French. 2, Celtic. 4 and 5, Elizabethan. 

§ AND 7, Byzantine. 

\ra face f age 37. 



INTERLACING AND STRAP-WORK ORNAMENT 37 

most of the illustrations on the same plate explain it 
further. 

Effective interlacing work may consist of curved lines 
only, as in Fig. 43, the Assyrian guilloche, and Figs. 54 and 
55, on Plate XXX., and Fig. 8, on Plate XXXI., an example 
of Arabian work ; or of straight lines alone, as in the Arabian 
borders at Figs. 9 and 10, on the same plate ; or, again, the 
most satisfactory arrangements are seen in the marriage of 
the straight and curved lines as in the Celtic example. Fig. 
2, and in the Byzantine panel at Fig. 7, on Plate XXXI. 
Further examples of this kind may be seen in the con- 
structive lines of the Italian book-cover decorations at Figsj 
51, 52, and 53, Plate XXX. 

It is characteristic of Arabian interlacing to use the 
straight-lined geometric interlacing, and the curved^ 
line variety singly, in different compositions, and more 
rare to find them used together in one scheme of orna- 
ment. 

Byzantine strap-work is pure in its lines, and is usually 
of a high order as constructive design ; it is often found 
accompanied by whole or half rosettes, or symbolic forms, 
occupying the interstices, as at Figs. 6 and 7, Plate XXXI. 
Elizabethan strap-work is impufe^as such, its curved lines 
generally ending in scroll-work, instead of being carried 
through the composition in continuity. (See Figs. 4 and 5, 
Plate XXXI.) In these Elizabethan examples there may 
be seen, in the bract-like forms at the sides of the curves, 
and in other places, the influence of Arabian work, and in the 



38 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

pierced holes and interperietrations we have reminiscences 
of cartouche and shield-work. 

Cartouche-work, which seems to ■ be the link between 
ornamental shield-work and strap-work, may. be seen on the 
German cup of 1620 date,' designed, by Wecht'er, and 
illustrated on Plate XXXII. The cartouche- work, on this 
example, occupies the surrounding portions of the divisions 
where the masks are placed. . This cup is a good example of 
the kind of work produced by the German goldsmiths of the 
late Renaissance period, the earlier half of the seventeenth 
century. It is composed, as may be seen, almost entirely of 
cartouche and strap-work ; the design is ingenious, but 
overdone, and suffers for the want of some plain surfaces. 
It cannot be denied, however, that, when executed in gold 
or silver, the effect would be extremely rich and sparkling. 



PLATE XXXII. 




German Cup in Silver by C. Wechter, date 1620, illustrating Cartouche-work 

AND Strap-work. 

\To face f age 38. 



CHAPTER VII 

SOME APPLICATIONS OF DESIGN AND ORNAMENT 

It is proposed, in this chapter, to consider design and 
ornament as applied to the construction and decoration of 
relief-work, and objects in the solid, and also some de- 
velopments of pattern and other features concerning surface 
decoration. 

In the matter of designing shapes of objects in metal, 
pottery, glass, wood, and stone, &c., a certain architectural 
rhythm ought to be aimed for, which should be in accordance 
with the fitness of the object, as to its use, and capabilities 
of the material in which it is made. For example, the 
contour of the mouldings and the space widths of the 
various parts of an article that is to be made in pottery 
should be quite different from those of an object that is 
made in stone on the one hand, and metal on the other. 
The artistic laws which govern the proper construction of an 
object that has any pretentions to art, are, in every case, 
similar; but, in the carrying out of these laws, we must bear 



40 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

in mind the nature of the material we are designing for, 
and the use for which the object is intended : it then simply 
becomes a question of " treatment." For example, it is 
wrong to make a design for cast iron, or bronze, do duty as 
a design for chiselled iron, or brass, and the mouldings and 
divisions on a silver candlestick will admit of being finer 
and more numerous than the same features on a vase made 
in pottery. Common earthenware, and the finer porcelain, 
must be treated in design distinctly different, according to 
the capabilities of the material, if we are to get artistic 
fitness. The paperhanging design that resembles the silk 
brocade is an artistic failure, and even the printed textile 
must not simulate the effects produced by the warp and 
shuttle. The characteristics, limitation of the material, 
and utility of the object, ought always to be borne in mind 
by the student or designer. 

When designing for objects in the " round," or relief, 
or for anything having architectural pretensions, one of 
the first considerations is to' keep in view the law of 
" proportion." 

Although we cannot attempt to lay down any arbitrary 
rules as to proportion in the abstract, or even as to the 
relative dimensions of space divisions in an object, still 
there are certain sizes and measurements that look better 
than others, when in close relation, and it is not a difficult 
matter to point out what would be generally conceded as 
"bad" proportion. If we examine the candelabra at 
Figs. I and 2, on Plate XXXIII., we shall find that Fig. i 



PLATE XXXIII. 



-^ 



c 



J 



L\ 




7 GOOD- 1. BAD 

'• PROPORTION 





J 



Illustrations of Proportion, Ratio, and Relation of Space and Form in 
Opposition ; also, the Want of Proportion. 

\To face page i,\. 



SOME APPLICATIONS OF DESIGN AND ORNAMENT 41 

illustrates an example of good proportion, because the 
space divisions, that are adjacent to each other, are unequal 
in height, and are composed of varying shapes ; the profile 
or contour of the object changes in an agreeable manner, 
adding an interest to the whole form, and each part 
pleasantly contrasts with the part immediately above or 
below it. There is also one dominant division, consisting 
of the upper part of the shaft, which is greater in height 
dimension than any of the other parts. This object, there- 
fore, fulfils the main conditions that ought to be observed 
in order to obtain good proportion in an example of this 
kind. We shall understand this more clearly by an 
examination of Fig. 2, which is an example of " bad "' 
proportion. Here the two greatest divisions of the shaft,, 
that come next to each other, are almost equal, and 
" equality" being antagonistic to proportion, ought always- 
to be avoided ; the divisions of the base are also too equal 
in height measurements, and are too much alike in their 
soft contours. There is, also, not enough contrast in the 
shapes of these divisions, most of the profiles being" 
composed of similar curved, or segmental linps, and not 
enough use is made of the straight line, in this connection, 
as a contrasting element ; and, finally, there is no single 
dominant feature to give the needed expression of good 
proportion, which is seen in Fig. i. 

The vase form at Fig. 5, on this plate, is a further example 
of good proportion, as seen in the changing curves of its 
contour, and in the essential unequality of its height divisions. 



42 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

The Greeks were great masters of proportion, in their 
architecture, figure sculpture, vases, and other objects of 
minor art. Fig. 7, on Plate XXXIII., is from a Greek 
Ionic entablature, an examination of which will reveal to us 
that the secrets of their well-proportioned work in archi- 
tectural features were the dominant division, as in the 
frieze, and the inequality of the height measurements of their 
mouldings, especially where the latter came near together. 
The Greek architect would never make two mouldings 
come together that had the same width, or that were of the 
same section, and even the profiles of his mouldings were 
derived from conic sections, rather than from the circle, so 
great was his love for the beauty of proportion and variety 
of artistic expression. 

Fig. 3, on this plate, is another example of good propor- 
tion. It will be noticed here, again, that the space divisions 
of this frame are unequal, and that the dominant division 
is further emphasised by its rosette decoration. 

Fig. 8 is given as an example of a well-proportioned 
panel, both as regards the ratio of breadth to length, and 
as to the quantity of decoration in relation to the ground 
space. In panels of any shape no hard and fast lines can 
be laid down for the quantity of ornament introduced, or 
amount of ground space to be left plain, as this would vary 
very much according to the uses and position of the panels. 
For instance, in a panelled room, the lower or dado panels 
may be left empty, and the mid-panelling on the " field " of 
the wall may also look quite well with little or no decoration, 



PLATE XXXIV. 




Tessellated and Mosaic Floor Design, showing Proportionate Spaces and 
Divisions in the Borders and Panels. 

[To /ace fage 43^ 



SOME APPLICATIONS OF DESIGN AND ORNAMENT 43 

while if the frieze, ceiling, or the soffits of arches be 
panelled, they would admit of being richly decorated with 
carving or painting. In the latter cases, and in panels for 
cabinets and smaller objects, a fairly safe rule is to allow 
about two-thirds of the panel to be occupied by the orna- 
ment, and the remaining third for the ground, which is 
about the proportion shown in the panel at Fig. 8. 

It is obvious that a square, being equal in length. and 
breadth, can have no proportion in itself, but we can divide 
it into any number of agreeable subdivisions, by arranging 
circles, octagons, or smaller squares of different sizes within 
the figure, as may be seen in the square ceiling at Fig. 6. 

By' the use of the larger circular lines with the angle lines 
of the square, a new feature, the spandrel, is obtained, 
which- is distinctly different in shape to either the square or 
circle, but is in- complete harmony with both. The varied 
character of the ornament, in the panels, bands, and mould-, 
ing decoration, also helps to make the whole composition 
agreeable. 

Another example of the treatment of a square is shown 
on Plate XXXIV., which is a design for a floor, in 
mosaic. Proportion is here obtained by the relation of 
size .between the border and inner square panel, assisted by 
the relation of the large circular panel to , both border and 
spandrels, and is further helped by the varying or unequal 
widths of the main border, and the lines and spaces forming 
subsidiary borders which surround it. Contrast in the 
ornament, which fills the various spaces, is obtained by the 



44 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

flowing character of the ornament in the circle as opposed 
to that of a "set " character in the outer border. 

A still further illustration of the harmony of unequal space 
divisions, in the decoration of a square form, is shown in 
the old Italian embroidery design on Plate XXXV. 

'. The two illustrations of Gothic tracery design for panel 
fillings, on Plate XXXVI., are good examples of their kind-p 
bufthe better design of the two is the l(3wer panel at B,:-for, . 
although it is divided into four equa:l divisions in width,-" the 
central feature embraces two of these divisions, and bdngiof 
quite a different character in design to the filling of thesur-' 
rounding part, which acts like a border, a sense of proper-' 
tion arid harmony is felt, which is wanting in the design- of 
the upper panel at A, where, the width is divided equally 
into three parts, and consequently the middle division is not 
of sufficient importance in size to contrast agreeably, witb 
the outer ornament.. • ' 

, In designing for plates or dishes, the proportionate) re-- 
la'tion between the centre and border should receive careful 
attention. An agreeable width for borders of plates, incliid- 
ing the bevel, between border and centre, would be about 
one^^sikth of the diameter of the plate. This proportion" is 
shown on the design for a majolica dish, on Plate XXXVII.: 
It may be noticed, in this design, that the radiating border 
is of a simple and restful character, which helps to counteract 
the revolving appearance of the figures in the design of the 
centre. 

The illustrations of good and bad proportion, given in the 



PLATE XXXV. 



Italian Ai.tar Cloth, 17TH Century, illustrating Proportionate Space Divisions 
IN THE Widths of the Borders and Contrast in the Ornament. 

[To face page 44. 



tPLATE XXXVI. 




Gothic Carved Wood Panels German, i6th Century, illustrating at A a Want 
OF Proportionate Spacing in the Tracery, and at B a more Correct Feeling 

FOR Proportion. 

[To follow Plate XXXV. 



PLATE XXXVn. 




Design for a Majolica Dish. 



VTo follow Plate XXX VI. 



PLATE XXXVIII. 




L.T^.tV^ 




Examples of Arabian Counterchange Ornament, 

t To face page 45. 



SOME APPLICATIONS OF DESIGN AND ORNAMENT 45 

last few pages, do not, by any means, exhaust the subject ; 
but it is to be hoped that sufficient has been said to enable 
the student to form a correct estimate of this important 
subject in relation to design. 



COUNTERCHANGE OrNAMENT. 

The class of ornament known as " counterchange " nega- 
tives the law of proportion by the very nature of its con- 
struction. In counterchange, as may be seen in the Arabian 
examples, on Plate XXXVIII., the ornament changes ex- 
actly with the ground, or occupies a similar shape to that 
formed by the ground that comes next to it, or on either 
side of it, as at Fig. i, on this plate. This kind of orna- 
ment is seen at its best in Arabian, or Saracenic decoration, 
both in its straight-lined and curved varieties. It has also 
been used by other nations, notably in the applique em- 
broidery work of the Spanish and Italians of the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries. Its origin is from heraldic sources, 
and at best it must be considered more of a device, or 
puzzle, than good ornament, for any kind of ornament that 
lacks proportion, and which leaves you in doubt as to which 
is the ornament, which the ground, as counterchange cer- 
tainly does, can hardly be considered good ornament. In 
some situations, however, where diaper-like ornament is 
■wanted, the geometrical varieties of counterchange are 
useful as decoration. 



46 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

Surface Pattern Design. 

Surface repeating patterns for textiles, paperhangings, 
tiles, &c., that are intended to be produced by printing, 
weaving, or stencilling, are usually designed on the square 
or the diamond. Figs. 2 and 13, Plate VI.; the lozenge. 
Figs. 7 and 15 ; the "ogee" shape. Figs. 8 and 12 ; or 
the hexagon, Figs. 5, 11, 14, and 16, on the same plate. 
Diagrams illustrating what is known as " spotting," and 
"powdering," are shown at Figs. 15 and 16, on this plate. 

Applications of designs to surface decorations are illus- 
trated on the Plates XXXIX. to XLI I. Figs. A and B, on 
Plate XXXIX., are examples of designs based on the square, 
and are known as "checkers." C is a simple repeating 
pattern, based on the lozenge — in this case, a square set 
angle-wise ; and the design at D is constructed on the 
"ogee" shape. All of these simple patterns usually gQ 
under the name of "diapers" ; but, correctly speaking, the 
true diaper is constructed on the ogee form, as at Fig. D. 



The Drop Pattern. 

The "drop" pattern illustrates an economical and 
effective method of getting a greater variety of pattern 
out of the width of the material than that adopted when 
designing by any other method for the decoration of 
textiles or paperhangings, and may be constructed on the 
lines of a lozenge, a diamond, or on two oblongs placed 



PLATE XXXIX. 












/^ 






feR;^^ 







A AND B ARE Examples of Checkers ; C and D are Diapers. 

[To face t age 46. 



PLATE XL. 











-BROP. 


u 




Fig. I, AN Illustration of a Symmetrical Drop Pattern designed on the 

Square placed Anglewise, or on an Oblong. 

Fig. 2 is a Drop Pattern designed on a Lozenge. 

ITo/ace page 47. 



SOME APPLICATIONS OF DESIGN AND ORNAMENT 47 

side by side, one of which drops half its length below the 
other, as at L, on Plate XL. In a pattern of the above 
nature, whether constructed on the lozenge, diamond, or 
on oblongs, the pattern drops half its length below the 
repeat, at either side of itself. Drop patterns may be bi- 
symmetrical, or unsymmetrical, in character. An example 
of a bi-symmetrical drop pattern is shown at Fig. i, Plate 
XL. This pattern may be designed on the lines of' a 
square lozenge, like the diagram K, or within- the lines of 
an oblong whose dimension is that of a double. square, as 
shown by the figure in chain-lines at ACDB, in Fig! i. 
The square lozenge, which also contains a repeat of the 
pattern, is shown at GEHF. The construction lines of the 
lozenge and oblong, drawn on the pattern, explain the 
manner of obtaining the repeat. 

The pattern at Fig. 2, on this plate, is an unsymmetrical 
" drop " designed on the diamond, shape, the position of 
which, in this case, is upright, as in the diagram'M. It will 
be seen that the repeats of this pattern follow, or " chase " 
each other, and do not "turn over" as in the former 
pattern at Fig. i. 

When patterns for paperhangings -or textiles are de- 
signed on the lozenge or diamond forms, the latter should 
not be less in width than the length of one side of the 
lozenge or diamond, as anything less would make the 
proportion of the figure too acute to be agreeable. 

A design for a textile hanging, planned on. the hori- 
zontal diamond, is given on Plate XLI. In this case the 



48 PROGRESSIVE DESIGN FOR STUDENTS 

principal features, or masses, are first put in, roughly, within 
the diamond shape ; and afterwards, the leading lines of 
■growth and their connections ; then, lastly, the. lesser 
•details. 

But before a design of this nature, the units of whose 
repeat are unsymmetrical, can be satisfactorily filled in, so 
as to give an " all over " effect, the portion of the pattern 
immediately over and under the line AB should be traced 
■off, and carefully transferred to the corresponding position 
•on, the opposite line DC, and the portion previously 
•designed, say at AD, should be, in ^ like manner, 
transferred to the line BC, and afterwards the whole repeat 
•could be finished. This process will " prove " the pattern, 
arid ensure the repeat to work in any direction. The 
diamond form, marked by the letters, on this plate, contains 
the whole unit of the repeat. 

The design for a printed textile illustrated on Plate 
XLII. is another example of the drop pattern, and is con- 
structed within the lines of a rectangle, whose height is a 
little less than three times its width, th^ chief motive of- the 
•composition being the waving line that runs continuously 
through the pattern. To make a design of this character, 
it is necessary that, at least two rectangles should bp placed 
together, as in the sketch, and one of them should be 
■divided into two equal parts, by a horizontal line, as at BA. 
It will also be necessary to extend the drawing, in some 
places, beyond these lines — in cases, for instance, - where 
a leaf or a flower may require cornpletion in drawing, when 



PLATE XLI. 




Drop Pattern designed on the Diamond as at A, B, C, D. 

[ To face fage 48, 



PLATE XLII. 



AP'— T7 










Printed Textile, Drop Pattern designed on the Rectangle Shape. 

[To follm) Plate XLl. 



SOME APPLICATIONS OF DESIGN AND ORNAMENT 49 

parts of them extend over the line. A reference to the 
sketch will make this clear. 

When using- the waved line in a drop pattern, it is 
best to make about half of the principal masses and smaller 
detail g-row, say, from the waved line on one side of 
the curve, below, and the other half designed to grow 
from the opposite side of the curve, so as to get the 
requisite balance of parts. The student should also 
endeavour to get a well-ordered variety of form in the 
units of his pattern, so that the work may look interesting. 
It will be seen that the portion of the design drawn on the 
upper left half of this pattern coincides with that on the 
lower half of the rectangle, on the right, and the lower left 
half contains that part of the pattern which appears again 
on the upper half on the right. 



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Large crown £vo, 9J. 

This is a continuation of Mr. Jackson's book on Decorative Design, and is intended to help advanced 
students. Throughout the work the Author insists upon the observance of principles, regard for 
construction, and the law of development, as necessary aids in a student's education. 



CHAPALAN AND HALL, Ltd., LONDON.